Fate of laundry and dry clean industry post Covid-19

The year 2020 was bad, frustratingly bad. The year has given us something that older generations was deprived of – the art of surviving the worst of the calamities! It is quite debatable whether 2020 was a curse or a boon. On one side we had a deadly virus which nobody round the globe had any idea of how to deal with and on the other hand we had a long and ever increasing list of people who fell prey to the cannibal called Corona Virus.

Closed offices, closed businesses, isolated streets and worst of all – people, who happened to step out of their homes in search of food, were beaten mercilessly by the authorities. Businesses collapsed and so did the valour of the business community. Many argued that the laundry business, as it is still considered a luxury in India, will be one of the worst affected industry and it will take ages for the industry to bounce back and return to the position it was in the pre covid-19 era.

Restrictions on weddings and cultural gatherings, restrictions on commuting, restrictions on religious functions and gatherings and the work from home system resulted in restricting people from going out and hence they did not have much to dry clean resulting in a severe nose dive in the laundry and dry clean business in India. But things will change, they will definitely change. At the moment, we are in a worst ever crisis. It is not surprising at all the many established laundry businesses in India are on the verge of closure and many have already closed. The laundry business in India has reached the abyss of ruination. We are at the down most level, which means we cannot go further down thus the only way to go is UPWARDS!

The year 2020 has taught us the value of cleanliness. People are more aware of hygiene and sanitization since ever before. Our television ads talk about anti virus products for almost every category. A plywood sheet, wall paint and a ceiling fan can also protect you from viruses, is what they say. Adopting and propagating a proper hygiene and sanitization process will be key in attracting customers post 2020. A recent research has predicted a greater demand for laundry and dry clean services as people are more educated on hygiene, post Covid-19.

After the laundries resumed work post lock down, the first month that was August 2020 laundries were not able to generate business. Many were only doing about 8 – 10% of what they were churning before the lock down. But within 3 months, they had started churning 25 – 30% of their original volume. This is a jump of 150 – 200% and the good news is this phenomenal growth was registered while all the restrictions were on. Still the restrictions on travel, social functions, weddings etc. were existing. And during this time people were
still working from home. So without schools, colleges and offices working, without permission for social gathering and family functions, without grand weddings and without any religious functions being publicly organized yet the laundries registered a growth of 150 – 200% in the first quarter post unlock.

So in the next quarter when the restrictions will be relaxed, schools and colleges will open, offices will start functioning like before, religious functions will be organized publicly and the pomp and grandeur of Indian weddings will be resurrected once again, it will not be wrong to speculate that the Indian laundry market will be bigger than before. Experts believe, as people are rightly educated on the virtues of hygiene during the Covid-19 era, there will be more takers of commercial dry clean than before. In the next two years, the laundry and dry clean industry in India will boom and it will earn back more than what it lost in 2020.

In 2020 the professional dry clean industry was among the biggest losers but by 2022 it can be the highest gainer. The industry has lost all it could, now it can only gain. So let us all work in taking the industry towards the path of success.

Recommendations for a safe and cleaner laundry post Covid-19

  •  The incoming load should be left aside for at least 24 – 48 hours before handling so
    that the risk of infection to the staff is minimized to almost zero. Usually the viruses
    cannot survive this long on porous surfaces like textiles.
  • The incoming load of each customer should be kept in different bags or containers
    and it should not be mixed with the load of the other customer.
  •  Use separate baskets for loading / unloading dirty and clean load.
  • Avoid short cycles. Remember, the virus dies off in higher temperatures and also if
    washed in soap. Regular cycle ensures the load is washed properly and the higher
    the time of exposure of the load to the detergents, the higher the chances of getting
    rid of the viruses.
  • Ensure the load is completely dry. Heat of the drier will also help in wiping out any
    left over viruses.

Reference:
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/demand-for-dry-cleaning-could-increase-as-
more-businesses-reopen-post-covid-19-301090039.html

By |2020-11-24T15:48:45+05:30November 24th, 2020|Top Courses|1 Comment

About the Author:

Aamir Kulay is a business owner and is associated with multiple industries like trading, hospitality, house keeping and education. He also owns a professional dry clean brand Verinito Xpress and has chain stores in Mumbai and aspirations to take his brand all over India and all over the world. He is an avid researcher and writer and has contributed in form of various articles, blogs, text books etc. His work includes text books on ECCEd and Laundry and Dry Clean business. He has recently authored a book called Zero Competition.

One Comment

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